Houston Astros

The Astros not only made the playoffs ahead of schedule, but they took down the Yankees and advanced to the ALDS, too. Now they sport a lineup with Carlos Gomez and Carlos Correa in it over a full season, and there is a very real chance they end up back in the postseason once more. They'll have to make it through a suddenly competitive AL West to do so, but the Astros aren't waiting for the best of their young talent to get to the majors anymore.

Key Addition

If you watched the Astros for any length of time -- like, literally any length of time, including just the playoffs -- then you are aware that their bullpen was a problem. An offseason trade for Ken Giles will help with that, as a bullpen with both Giles and Luke Gregerson in it is far more effective than one with just half of that duo.

All additions: Ken Giles, Doug Fister

Key Departure

Scott Kazmir was acquired in late July and was just about league-average for the Astros, so his loss isn't as significant as it seems on the surface. However, if free agent signing Doug Fister continues to decline and can't even match what Kazmir produced for Houston, the Astros are going to need help in their rotation.

All departures: Scott Kazmir, Chris Carter, Oliver Perez, Chad Qualls

Best Case

The Astros made the playoffs in 2015 despite an iffy bullpen and a lineup that still needed some work despite its imposing pieces. The bullpen looks better now, and there are full seasons of Carlos Gomez and Carlos Correa to look forward to, which means the Astros are more than capable of winning the AL West. If Doug Fister proves 2015 was a blip, or A.J. Reed hits his way into Houston much like Correa did last summer, it's going to be tough to stop the Astros.

Worst Case

It's not difficult to envision Carlos Gomez struggling with his health and swing, or three-fifths of the Astros' rotation falling into disarray if Mike Fiers needs to be introduced into things. There isn't much wiggle room out West, not with the Rangers, Mariners, and Angels all around, so if anything goes a little too wrong for Houston, they could easily miss out on meaningful October baseball.

Projected Team

Lineup: Jose Altuve, George Springer, Carlos Correa, Colby Rasmus, Carlos Gomez, Preston Tucker, Luis Valbuena, Tyler White, Jason Castro

Rotation: Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh, Lance McCullers, Doug Fister, Scott Feldman